The South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics (GSSM) honored Dr. Steven Kubalak with its 2018 Distinguished Research Leadership Award during the School’s 29th Annual Research Colloquium Saturday, February 3, in Hartsville.
During the Colloquium gathering, 106 students presented their findings from scientific research conducted during their participation in the 2017 Summer Program for Research Interns (SPRI) and its international counterpart, the Research Experience Scholars Program (RESP). Presentations included continuing research projects mentored by GSSM faculty in the areas of computer science, engineering, and economics.
Dr. Kubalak is an associate professor of regenerative medicine and cell biology in the Center for Anatomical Studies and Education at the Medical University of South Carolina. For 16 years, he managed a research lab and taught graduate and medical students. Five years ago, he closed his lab to focus on teaching and mentoring students. In addition to teaching human gross anatomy to medical and dental students, he developed an interprofessional course for graduate students to gain a clinical perspective within the university hospital. He is also a member of the Office of Interprofessional Initiatives, whose mission is to create opportunities and implement programs in interprofessional studies across the six MUSC colleges. Dr. Kubalak has been director of the annual campus-wide Perry V. Halushka MUSC Research Day for the past 12 years and faculty advisor for MUSC’s literary journal, Humanitas, for 11 years.
In 2012, Dr. Kubalak volunteered to oversee the College of Graduate Studies summer program for GSSM students. He has mentored several GSSM students in his own lab, placed over 100 GSSM students in research labs across the MUSC campus, and organizes the oral presentation program at the culmination of the summer. He continually seeks innovation in his teaching methods and strives to assist students through mentoring.
"Dr. Kubalak’s support, creativity and knowledge have made incalculable impacts on GSSM students and elevated SPRI. For these reasons and more, we are proud to honor him with this year’s Distinguished Research Leadership Award," said Randy La Cross, VP for Outreach and Research at GSSM.
SPRI and RESP are Capstone programs exclusive to GSSM. For six weeks between their junior and senior years, students conduct research at university or corporate research and development facilities under the mentorship of professional scientists, entrepreneurs or engineers, during which they deepen their understanding of the nature and process of research and learn the value research plays in our society. During their senior year, the students work with GSSM research advisors to prepare formal research papers and oral research presentations. The culmination of summer research is Colloquium, during which students formally present their projects to their peers, mentors, families and GSSM faculty and friends.